1961 Silver Cup

It’s Wide Open

All Have Shot at Silver Cup

By Joe Dowdall

No matter how you figure it, there isn’t a favorite in Sunday’s 16th annual Silver Cup powerboat race.

Univac and the other marvels of our electronic age would have to go some to stumble on the outcome of Sunday’s 45-mile test on the Detroit River.

It might pick George Simon’s Miss U.S. 1 on the basis of its showing in the recent Gold Cup Race. Don Wilson piloted the red, white and blue three-pointer to two easy victories and missed a third checkered flag by less than four seconds.

Or it could go to Bill Muncey and Century 21, the former Miss Thriftway. Muncey parlayed three second-place finishes to win the Gold Cup for the third time.

Miss Bardahl, winner of the Seafair Trophy Race and defending champion and Joe Schoenith’s Gale V, winner of the Detroit Memorial Race, can’t be counted out, either.

And what would Univac or you do about Miss Supertest II? The Canadian challenger will have Harmsworth winner Bob Hayward at the throttle of the same 2,500-horsepower Rolls Royce Griffon engine that won its third straight Harmsworth trophy last month.

Powerboat racing’s history is dotted with heartbreaks that were caused by a broken 10-cent part or a piece of debris.

Chuck Thompson and his Miss Detroit and Fred Alter in Jack Schafer’s Such Crust need only a break to crack the winner’s circle.

Behind them will be the community-sponsored Miss Madison from Indiana and George Zigas’ Thunderbolt. The untried Gale VII, with an experimental Navy PT engine, and the new Miss Lumberville complete the field.

Gale VII is sure to get a test. Veteran Bob Schroeder, one of the heaviest-footed in boat racing, gave up his own Miss Buffalo to take over Gale VII.

The Silver Cup fleet will be split into two sections Sunday morning after Gale VII and Miss Lumberville attempt to qualify at 90 miles an hour around the three-mile Belle Isle course.

The first 15-mile heat of five laps around the three-mile course will start at noon. Other heats will follow at 1, 2:30, 3:15, and 4:45 p.m.

Two heats will be run for pleasure speed boats at 12:25 and 2:50 p.m. in the gentlemen’s runabout race. A sky-diving exhibition by five parachutists will be held at 3:40 p.m.

Free spectator areas line the three-mile course between Belle Isle and the mainland. Free parking will be available next to Memorial Park above the pits at the foot of Burns to purchasers of reserved seats.

First heat at 12:05 p.m. Others at 1, 2:30, 3:15 and 4:45 p.m.

Each heat will be five laps around a three-mile course. Points are awarded for the order of finish as follows: 1st — 400; 2nd — 300; 3rd — 225; 4th — 169; 5th — 127, and 6th — 71.

Reserve seats are available with free parking at Memorial Park at the foot of Burns and at the foot of Parkview. Other spectator areas are at Owen Park, the Belle Isle Bridge and the Belle Isle shoreline.

Silver Cup Field
No. Boat Colors Driver Base
U-2 Miss U.S. 1 Red-White Don Wilson Detroit
U-18 Thunderbolt Orange-Black (Unnamed) Detroit
U-33 Miss Lumberville Yellow-Brown Walt Kade Detroit
U-40 Miss Bardahl Green-Black Ron Musson Seattle
U-55 Gale V Chartreuse Bill Cantrell Detroit
U-57* Gale VII Chartreuse Bob Schroeder Detroit
U-60 Century 21 White-Orange Bill Muncey Seattle
U-70 Such Crust Blue-White Fred Alter Detroit
U-79 Miss Madison Brown-White Marion Cooper Madison, Ind.
CA-1 Miss Supertest II Brown-Orange Bob Hayward London, Ont.
U-99 Miss Detroit Coral-Yellow Chuck Thompson Detroit
*Will attempt to qualify at 90 mph Sunday morning.


(Reprinted from the Detroit Free Press, September 10, 1961)